419 – Depeche Mode – New Life (1981)
Written by Vince Clarke
Produced by Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller
Label – Mute
Up until 1981 virtually all synth based music was dark and industrial. Four pretty boys from Basildon with newly found ARP machines created light, fluffy synth pop that no one thought possible. Depeche Mode with Vince Clarke were a traditional pop band who found carrying keyboards on the tour van were far easier than lugging drum kits and other organic instrumentation around concert halls. Clarke’s songwriting skills would undoubtedly have been recognised in more conventional ways and in any era, but for a brief moment in the early 80s this sound seemed wildly effervescent and original.